Domonic Brown is riding the pine in the Dominican winter league

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This probably isn’t what the Phillies had in mind when they sent top prospect Domonic Brown to play for the Escogido Lions in the Dominican Republic.

The Phillies hoped his participation in winter ball would help make up for some of the time he spent on the major league team’s bench in August and September, but Brown has yet to appear in a game with the Lions, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Escogido has 26 games remaining on their regular season schedule and Brown is expected to return home before Christmas, so the clock is ticking.

Assuming Jayson Werth leaves via free agency, Brown should open next season as the starting right fielder with the Fightins. The 23-year-old outfielder hit .210 with two home runs and 13 RBI in limited action at the big league level this past season, but batted .327/.391/.589 with 20 homers and 68 RBI in 389 at-bats between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He’s widely regarded as one of the top position prospects in the game.

One interesting angle here is that the Escogido Lions are managed by Ken Oberkfell, longtime coach in the Mets’ organization. Let those conspiracy theories fly, people!

Braves sign David Hernandez

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Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.

Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.